Alcatel-Lucent introduces new communications solution CloudBand

Alcatel-Lucent, a telecommunications solutions company, Thursday introduced a new solution, called CloudBand, which brings together the computing power and flexibility of the cloud with the high performance, reliability and security of communications networks.

CloudBand is the foundation for a new class of ‘carrier cloud’ services that will enable communications service providers to bring the benefits of the cloud to their own networks and business operations.

It is also meant to put communications service providers  in an ideal position to offer a new range of high-performance cloud services to enterprises and consumers.

Announcing the innovation which will be available for deployment in the first half of 2012, via a press release, Alcatel-Lucent said CloudBand is comprised of two distinct elements: the CloudBand Management System – which delivers orchestration and optimisation of services between the communications network and the cloud; and the CloudBand Node, which provides the computing, storage and networking hardware and associated software to host a wide range of cloud services.

According to the release, the introduction of CloudBand was informed by concerns expressed by nearly 3500 IT decision makers  about performance and security of the earlier model known as public cloud which could not provide some levels of quality and performance desired by some services.

“CloudBand helps address these concerns by drawing on the unique strengths of communications service providers to create a new level of ‘business class’ cloud services that are delivered using secure, reliable, high-performance communications networks. This new level of service offers lower latency, better control of bandwidth and the ability to provide a guaranteed quality of service, all of which are necessary to meet the stringent performance demands of consumers and enterprises,” the release stated.

Among other benefits, Alcatel-Lucent maintains that CloudBand will enable communications service providers to deliver networking services from the cloud, adding, by shifting to a cloud-based delivery model, service providers will be able to market and deliver new services to customers quickly, with improved quality of service and at lower cost.

Additionally, rather than having to install dedicated equipment for every communication service, such as SMS or video, service providers can instead draw from the carrier cloud to address demand.

Commenting on the new Cloud model, Adolfo Hernandez, President, of Alcatel-Lucent’s Software, Services & Solutions Group said: “From our research we know that performance is the highest concern of IT decision makers. We also know that they believe communications service providers are in the best position to deliver the quality and security they expect, making them the cloud provider of choice for the enterprise world.”

“The network makes the cloud, and communications service providers own the networks. That’s a very powerful combination,” Hernandez added.

For her part, Informa telecommunications analyst, Camille Mendler said: “Service providers’ cloud investments have already exceeded $11 billion in 2011, but financial rewards will only come if their computing and network assets are tightly integrated. Orchestration platforms like Alcatel-Lucent’s CloudBand support efficient consumption and control of diverse digital resources. Better control means better performance – and that’s absolutely critical to differentiate and win customers.”

Developed through a ten-year strategic global agreement with HP for a wide array of converged solutions for the information and communication technology (ICT) market to bridge the gap between the data center and the network, CloudBand is a key element of the company’s cloud initiative, which supports the adoption and transformation of Alcatel-Lucent’s own platforms and applications to a cloud-based architecture.

These applications are also offered as a service from Alcatel-Lucent’s cloud to carriers, while 18 million subscribers are currently being served through this initiative.

By Edmund Smith-Asante

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